This year has been very different for us but at the same time given time to spend on ourselves a little more. As a small business owner I have always found it hard to focus on me rather than the Business. Especially as there has been so much time, money and energy put into the growth of DeckHardware and that has been very rewarding on a personal level. It was even harder when I was balancing other jobs to fund travel overseas to grow the company. It is nice to take a step back and look at what we have achieved with a lot of hard work.
With no travel it has meant a lot of time at home and time taken to do a big cleanup of sorts. It has also meant pulling out my old keyboards to see if they still work, which they do. The next step will be seeing if my fingers bruise when I play or if they have for some reason in the last few years suddenly become ok with it. Perhaps I should avoid any Ragtime style initially just in case haha always a favourite but the quick pace is likely not going to be popular with my finger joints. I think the bongos will have to stay in the bag a little while to see what happens.
It is incredible how much technology has changed with my old mixer setup compared to one I bought more recently. I may even try to get some of my old songs off the old mixer onto current technology. Why is it when testing the sound still works, I always use a chromatic scale?
Not travelling certainly has been strange. With Lake Macquarie being the furthest I have gone which for me does not count as it has always been a favourite of mine to visit and spend time on the water. On a recent visit during the Flying 11 Nationals I took the RIB down the channel a bit from the boat ramp and had a good look at how it looks at a slow pace. All those trips through on the Adams 10’s I never really had time to think about it or look around whilst trying to stay off the bottom. It was amazing to be able to do this now, such a beautiful place.
Whilst I miss my friends overseas and miss the chance to visit different regions Suppliers are located in around METS in Amsterdam, it is nice to know we have such strong relationships built leading into this strange time.
What I am looking forward to is my next trip to the other side of the world being epic to catch up with everyone in person. Whenever that may be.
This year certainly is flying past quicker than I would like. From a personal and business perspective there is a LOT happening. Some of which has been very exhausting and some extremely rewarding. I guess you could go with the cliche of Highs and Lows.
With DeckHardware continuing to grow and change shape we are looking at reinvesting some more of our funds into the company. This includes the purchase of a RIB that we will then use for Marketing activities to provide amazing content moving forward. Of course, being a boat owner again will be a fantastic change.
Although admittedly if I was buying a boat for myself the RIB would not be the first choice. I do miss owning Animus, not just the racing side but also the maintenance and social things we used to do. Whilst I have had to step away from being an Umpire and Judge due to work commitments, I am looking forward to this change in direction for me personally and DeckHardware.
It is a big few months ahead with a visit to METSTRADE in just 26 days. A long way to fly for three days of meetings and catchups. It will be well worth it after the big METS I had last year.
Once I get back to Australia it will be full-on with the leadup to the big regatta season coming up and the events and sailors we will be supporting.
A quick update on the Hypermobility side, lifting weights has increased and now to do the same for Cardio. I seriously love being back in the gym lifting weights and not breaking myself! What a mission it has been to find the balance.
We are proud to be sponsoring the upcoming Flying 11 Nationals!
The last few months I have been pretty quiet for a number of reasons. Actually, it is really since November last year when we launched the new DeckHardware website. We always knew this was going to be a lot of work but it seems the further we get the more we realise we can do and there is still to do!
As a distributor, it is important for us to get up as many of the products as possible with as much technical data as possible. This takes time and research and I would like to take a moment to thank those who have visited the new website and understood it a work in progress.
I am loving the new look and hope you are all finding it easy to navigate. Trust me when I say there are plenty more features to come! It is actually pretty exciting what we will be able to do in the future. We have also installed a new Chat program which means all three of us can access it to talk to customers and share links or Tech Sheets which is fantastic.
On top of this, we have re-signed our contract as an Official Supplier of Australian Sailing with the support of LIROS in Germany. We have worked with LIROS longer than we have owned DeckHardware and it is exciting to continue this partnership.
Whilst working hard I have switched up my Gym routine which has been very exciting! I have moved away from the Aqua classes and whilst still focusing on Pilates Reformer I am now able to do some weights and get back on the bike and even a rower! This has been a big step in managing the Hyper Mobility. It is still a lot of guessing as to how far I can push but it is nice to be able to change it up.
The last few weeks have involved just a few 3am wake-ups to watch the America’s Cup. Congratulations Emirates Team New Zealand. Firstly I am so excited that I won’t have to wake up at 3am. It is going to be really interesting to follow what they do as no doubt there will be a few changes especially given where the boats will be sailing next time around. Waking up to watch so many Aussie’s participating was amazing. There were some incredible moments and some great racing in particular between Artemis and Team NZ.
It was so nice this morning to not have to wake up so early! What is next for Aussie Sailing Fans?
2016 was an interesting year for me both personally and professionally. DeckHardware celebrated 10 years of our family owning the Business which was a big milestone. We also organised the 2nd Sydney Sailboat Expo which had an incredible number of sailing boats on display. 2016 was once again a great time for our Aussie Sailors in Rio. Then there was the new Website for DeckHardware and a trip to METSTRADE followed by adding DrSails to our range of brands! Phew what a year!
It was certainly a testing one with a quiet winter followed up by a pretty epic start to summer, more so than normal.
We witnessed some of the young sailors we have supported for a number of years head to the Youth Worlds with Finn bringing home a Gold and John a Bronze. It is so nice to watch these youngs sailors grow up and continue to not only love our sport but also see the results. As a family and via our company we do love to support sailing as much as we can and it can be so rewarding personally.
To finish off 2016 we were once again on the MHYC Start Boat for Boxing Day on the middle line. Helicopter numbers seemed down on previous years but the spectator fleet certainly turned up with the good weather! Watching the boats in pre-start is always enjoyable.
From a personal perspective, my Hypermobility became my main priority. I have learnt over the past two years about the pain management side of things and trying to get my muscles to relax where required and stay strong where needed at the same time. This has not been easy and taken its toll, but it is nice to have tested the waters (hahaha) and now I have a better idea of how to move forward.
As a result, I feel stronger than I have in years. I am booked in at the gym to do some weights classes to gradually get the joints used to those movements again. In 2016 I was able to get back on a bike and not create major issues which was a HUGE breakthrough for me. Pilates Reformer will remain for the rest of my life something that I have to ensure I do as often as possible. The difference it has made has been fantastic even though sometimes it has felt like I was going backwards overall I was moving forwards.
The past year has not been the greatest for me. Since being diagnosed with Hypermobility it has been a bit of hit and miss action to figure out how to move forward. For the past year I have been on a muscle relaxant to try to counteract the tight muscles so that I could spend more time at the gym and just doing things in general. Unfortunately this lead to other issues along with some trouble from when I fractured my foot a few years ago. My muscles often transfer the tight spots, which means the treatment moves week by week.
The irony now being that I actually ended up doing less at the gym whilst I tried to get my muscles activating as they should to even walk let alone up and down stairs. I basically lost all strength in my left leg as it transferred the issue between the glute, knee, ankle and foot. Taping up the foot and knee weekly with acupuncture has been a massive help to re-train it all.
So the decision to come off the muscle relaxants has been a tough one. With so many pros and cons. It has now been almost two months off them and even though some days have been hard I have been able to retrain muscle groups with the help of Physio, Pilates and Weights.
I must admit I am now trialling on the bad days a more healthy option of Turmeric. I do like the idea of not permanently being on something so fingers crossed.
Unfortunately the timing has not been great on this road to health and fitness as I head off to Goolwa in South Australia next week for some umpiring. I just hope the work I have done in the last two months means I hold together. I feel at the moment my core strength is almost the best it has been despite the lack of overall fitness. Which hopefully means I can work on that when I get back. In the last two weeks I have managed to jump on the bike and do some interval and resistance training which has been AMAZING! Last time I tried that over a year ago I ended up barely able to stand up straight as my Hip Flexors just reacted so badly.
Enough about the journey of trying to manage HMS. Bring on the road trip and driving to Goolwa! Two days on the road followed by umpiring some great sailing at the 2016 DeckHardware Australian Secondary Schools Team Sailing Nationals.